Inflation in SC shows need for bold tax cuts

Record breaking prices are making everyday life harder for Americans, especially for some in South Carolina. Indeed, by some measurements, the Palmetto State (and the South generally) is experiencing higher inflation than the rest of the country.   The big picture  In the South, overall prices have jumped by 8.8% in the last year (Apr 2021 …

Analysis: SC’s competing tax cut proposals, what to know

After years of justified frustration from taxpayers, state lawmakers have finally decided to address South Carolina’s highest-in-the-Southeast top income tax rate. The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would lower and consolidate the state income tax, while the Senate recently introduced its own income tax proposal that includes a plan to use $1 billion in surplus funds …

Three crucial tax reforms for South Carolina

The S.C. Legislature convened for session this week, renewing calls to fix South Carolina’s dated and uncompetitive tax structure. This focus comes as our northern neighbor passed a significant tax cut last year, with Georgia making a smaller cut, making the Palmetto State’s years of inaction even more baffling.    Taxes can be complicated – our problems, however, are not. This report makes three …

What is Tax Conformity, and What Does It Mean for SC Taxpayers?

UPDATE 10/5/18: The Senate’s version of the tax conformity bill passed both houses this week and was signed by the Governor.   Lawmakers left one major question unanswered when they left Columbia earlier this year: How will the South Carolinian’s state income tax be calculated next year? The General Assembly will address this when they …

Only Three Liquor Stores? A Tale of Regulation

HOW A SIMPLE, WELL-INTENDED REGULATION TURNED INTO A TANGLED MESS Earlier this year, a report at The Nerve detailed an attempt by a few lawmakers to insert a budget proviso into the state budget. This proviso – a one-year budget law – would effectively limit the number of brick-and-mortar liquor stores a person or company …

The Gas Tax, the Infrastructure Bank, and Lawmakers’ Word Games

• Legislature began diverting fees to Infrastructure Bank in 2005 • Diversion of Funds meant to circumvent state constitution • In 2003 lawmakers changed the name of the gas tax to a ‘fee’ • After credit downgrade, legislature continued to divert funds to STIB (The following provides historical background for this analysis of H.3516, the gas …

South Carolina roads legislature

Roads: What Reform Is – and Isn’t

THREE STEPS TO FIXING SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROADS – AND NONE OF THEM INVOLVES RAISING TAXES ON A POOR AND OVERTAXED POPULATION One thing has become increasingly evident in the debate over the gas tax: lawmakers have no real solution to South Carolina’s infrastructure problems. Their only solution is raising taxes. But lawmakers haven’t shown, or even tried to …

S.C. Is a ‘Low Tax State,’ Right? Wrong.

SOUTH CAROLINA IS A LOW INCOME STATE — SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT South Carolina politicos sometimes claim that ours is a “low tax state” and that it has the “lowest taxes in that nation.” The claim is false. It confuses tax collections with tax rates – that is, total amounts sent to Columbia versus the proportion of …

South Carolina Roads

Will Lawmakers Raise the Gas Tax in 2017?

LAST YEAR, THE PROBLEM WAS STRUCTURAL RATHER THAN MONETARY. IT STILL IS. Over the past several weeks there has been considerable public speculation that Gov. Nikki Haley’s successor may support a gas tax increase. Given calls to raise the gas tax from editorial boards, Department of Transportation officials, and state lawmakers, it’s fair to assume that the …